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The following training plan has been curated by UMD grad student and veteran member of the club Bill Evans. He is a doctoral student in the department of kinesiology, a member of local elite/sub-elite running club GRC, and has helped to write successful training plans in the past. Huge thanks to Bill, this plan would not have been possible without him.
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A note on meetsAbout the mileage
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As of the time of sending out this training plan, all of the meets listed and the time trial are tentative. No races have been confirmed by NIRCA yet, some races are not listed on the clubrunning.org website yet, and we have not been approved to travel to meets by the University yet. However with all of that said, I do believe there is a good chance that we will be attending at least some of these meets this coming fall.This plan has a very heavy workout focus, there is no total mileage listed for any one day. There are mileage targets listed before each week. These targets have no meaning in isolation, but rather should be used as a target going from week to week; they will let you know when to be running maximum mileage and when to ease up. My recommendation is to look at the first week of targets and compare them to how many miles you are running per week in August, see where you fall on the spectrum and then try to stay in that zone for the rest of the season. For example, if you have been running ~45 mile weeks in August try to stay between the high and mid markers for the whole season. If you have not been running over the summer, then start very easy, build up to a comfortable mileage for you, and then see where you fall amongst the targets. Finally, I do recommend that you come into the season prepared; run what you can for the rest of the summer, and if you have been building up all summer long and are comfortable doing so, begin mixing in an easy workout like a progression run or fartlek once a week as well as some strides at least one other time per week.
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About the workouts
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First off, these workouts might seem like A LOT. There are a lot of them and some of them look very long. However, the goal is not to crush every single one of these workouts, in fact the goal is not to crush any of them. The goal is consistency. If you can finish each workout and feel like you could maybe keep going (but you don't really want to), then you will be much more successful than if you try to push beyond your limits and red-line every workout. The reason for this is that the workouts build on each other, and if you barely finish one, the next one will be even harder. The other key to these workouts and consistency is recovery. Days without races or workouts should all be easy runs; let your body recoup. This is why we haven't specified daily distance, it is up to you to listen to your body; if you need to take a day off, take a day off. If you have any questions about any of the workouts please reach out to the club, any of the officers, or any veteran members of the club. There will be a slightly more in depth description of each upcoming week in the weekly email and we will go over the workouts at practice.
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About the paces
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A majority of the workouts in the plan have paces specified as T (tempo/threshold) or R (repetition). These designations come from Jack Daniels' well renowned VDOT training style. The workouts are not necessarily Jack Daniels style, but these paces offer an easy way for everyone on the club to figure out how fast they should be doing these workouts. Our plan is to run a team 5k time trial after the first week of practice. For everyone who competes, we will then use their 5k time to create benchmark T and R paces. As with the training plan as a whole, these paces are purely suggestions and you should feel free to update them throughout the season as you see fit. If you'd like to learn more about the Jack Daniels paces this link has some good info, and there is plenty more a google search away
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